In working with many business owners, leaders, and many athletes of all ages by coaching countless soccer teams, I continue to learn many things about people and how they function. I learn about what motivates individuals and how they react to certain situations. I learn that people can act different when things become stressful. I see the difference it makes by having confidence in yourself and in your abilities. There are many things I pay attention to, and there are many things I continue to learn each and every day, all from human interaction.
Learning these points teaches me about other people and how they tick, but the value comes in the form of how I relate it to myself and how I can incorporate these learnings into my own life. Part of this comes with a complete commitment that I made to constantly improving. Improving my expectations of myself, of others, and more importantly, of my environment and the environments that I am apart of. Creating these standards and holding yourself and others around you to these higher standards is critical in continuing to improve. Below are a few tips on committing to improvement. As head coach of the local university men’s soccer program, I go and watch many high school and youth competitive games in order to recruit for the university program. One of the biggest elements I have learned from that is to trust what you see and to believe what people show you. Actions scream much louder than words ever could. Many times we see very talented employees or athletes, but they do not have the work ethic that is required to make that next jump. In some cases, they may even be so talented that they could make that next jump, but in doing so would jeopardize your team dynamic and the culture of your environment, thus actually hindering the improvement of your team. I would be able to tell you this about most athletes by watching the first 30 seconds of their team warmup. How invested are they? Are they putting in that effort to prepare? Are they focused? Always trust what you see.
Continuing to improve will only attract others who are looking to do the same. I have been fortunate enough to have some pretty extraordinary people cross my path. People that would not have had such an effect on me, if I didn’t initially push them to improve in order to keep up with my environment. Athletes that are looking for that extra push to improve seem to find me, and while they seem to leave thinking that I have improved them, what they fail to see is that they may have had a bigger impact on me than I had on them, as they continued to teach me things along the way.
Lastly, find the people who are best at what they do. This can only improve your standards for yourself, your environment, and your team, while also improving your teams outlook on what they can achieve. When hiring, I look at two different questions:
Does this person have the ability, or can they develop the ability to take my job in the future?
Does this person have an area of expertise that I am lacking knowledge in?
By posing these two questions, I immediately have my answer of whether or not they can assist me in improving. If the answer is no to both questions, I believe this person can still be an asset, but not to me in the circumstance of what I am looking for.